There’s a sought-after classic BMW that even hardcore BMW fans have likely never seen in the metal before, yet they could easily recite the specifications and history of the car like their life depended on it - the BMW M1. The BMW M1 was only produced from 1979 to 1981 and some 450 units were made in that time, around 400 of them being the street version with the balance being built for competition on track in the form of the BMW M1 ProCar. These cars were created for a one-make series that, as you can tell from the short production run, didn’t last, as exciting as it was. It’s not clear how many models are left, but if one does pop up for sale, you can expect to fork out a rather eye-watering $500 000+ (roughly R8.4mil). The main mechanic tasked with taking care of the cars back then, Fritz Wagner, managed to keep a plethora of parts and cars in his possession making him an absolute legend. Fritz built up his amazing BMW M1 ProCar collection using components he bought and collected himself.
Over and above Piquet’s car, Fritz has another gem in his collection. He even owns the original BMW M1 prototype car that was originally built by Lamborghini, if you can believe that. While it’s arguable the rarest car of the lot seeing as the BMW M1 partnership fell away before the racing began, Fritz still plans of giving the car a new lease on life with a conversion to run it on hydrogen power. That’s pretty damn amazing. It’s all rather strange though too as the M1 was never considered particularly successful. We love that these cars aren’t all up for sale and that Fritz says he’ll give them to his grandkids. We’ve never wanted to be the love-grandchild of an old German mechanic so much.
Take a look at the short but quite emotive YouTube video by BMW Group Classic showing a glimpse into the life of a legendary BMW race mechanic, Fritz Wagner, and how this one man is single-handedly responsible for keeping the memory of the classic BMW M1 ProCar series alive: Our Brands. Our Stories — The man behind the legend of the BMW M1 Procar! | BMW Group Classic
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